Murray is focused despite threat of Djokovic

Andy Murray and coach Amelie Mauresmo during a practice session.
Andy Murray and coach Amelie Mauresmo during a practice session.
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Andy Murray insists he will avoid watching Novak Djokovic’s matches at Wimbledon unless he has to face the defending champion in the final.

Djokovic needed two days and five sets to overcome South African Kevin Anderson in the last 16 yesterday and he will next play Croatia’s Marin Cilic for a place in the last four.

While Djokovic was battling through the deciding set on Court One, Murray was practising nearby and the Scot could hear the cheers emanating from the Serb’s marathon contest.

The British No 1 showed no inclination to follow the large scoreboard behind him, however, and he made no reaction either when Djokovic’s victory was sealed.

Murray has lost to the world 
No 1 at both the Australian Open and the French Open this year, but they have been drawn in opposite halves of the draw at SW19 and cannot meet until the final.

“I will check the app and follow the live scores during the day but I don’t sit and watch a whole set; when I’m getting ready I’ll just catch a few points here and there,” Murray said.

“On Monday I only saw the end of the (Tomas) Berdych-(Gilles) Simon match, a few games of the (Nick) Kyrgios match, a little bit of Roger (Federer) and a couple of games of Novak.

“If I was to play Novak or Kevin Anderson in the next round, I might take a bit of a closer look, but it’s such a long way away from affecting me that at this stage I’m not following it closely.

“Maybe later on in the tournament, if I was to play against one of them, I might make more of an effort to see how it’s going.”

Murray will play Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the last eight and the match-up looks a kind one for the Briton, given it is the first time Pospisil has made it past the third round of a grand slam.

Pospisil has also never beaten Murray in three previous meetings and he played two five-set matches on Monday, beating Viktor Troicki in the singles before later losing to Murray’s brother Jamie and John Peers in the doubles tournament.

Murray hopes those demanding contests will work in his favour today, but insists extra time on court can also have its advantages.

“Pospisil had a great win over Viktor Troicki in singles earlier in the day, which meant he played 10 sets on Monday,” Murray said.

“I don’t know if that will affect him when we play on Wednesday but, selfishly, I hope so. He’s played a lot of tennis here with three five-setters.

“The plus is that on grass the matches aren’t as long – a five-setter in New York takes a bit more of a toll on your body than here – but Vasek has spent quite a lot of time on the court so far and that can be mentally draining.

“He may also be a little bit fatigued, but then again he’s played so much tennis that he’s going to be comfortable in the conditions and in a good rhythm.

“If he is tired I’ll obviously try to capitalise on that, but I won’t bank on it.”

Pospisil’s parents fled communist Czechoslovakia before his father Milos taught himself how to coach his son into a professional tennis career.

He knows all about hard graft and family sacrifice – so will be fully unfazed by the hostile home crowd in today’s quarter-final.

Pospisil was born in Canada two years after his parents had earned enough money to swap Austria for the British Columbia town of Vernon.

The 25-year-old’s parents would drive him on a 90-minute round trip through snow-laden roads every day to reach the nearest indoor court in winter.

After defeating British hope James Ward in the third round, the world No 56 is confident he can cope again with a partisan crowd against 2013 Wimbledon champion Murray.

“It doesn’t really faze me too much playing in front of crowds that are against me,” said Pospisil.

“I like playing in front of big crowds, in general – doesn’t matter if they are against me or cheering for me. Obviously I’d prefer they are on my side, but I tend to play well in those kinds of situations. So I’m not worried about that, really.”

Pospisil completely changed his diet to overcome glandular fever in 2013, and has already realised his best-ever grand slam performance at Wimbledon this year.

The fast-improving Canadian paired up with Jack Sock at the last minute at Wimbledon last year, claiming the doubles title and earning the nickname ‘Popsocks’ in the process.

Jamie Murray moved closer to a second Wimbledon doubles title as he and Australian partner John Peers marched into the men’s doubles semi-finals with a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 victory over Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares sealing a last-four place.

Britain’s James Ward has been selected alongside Andy Murray for this month’s Davis Cup quarter-final against France.

Ward was selected ahead of emerging alent Kyle Edmund, of Beverley, and is joined by Murray’s brother Jamie and doubles specialist Dominic Inglot in the same team that beat the USA in March. The tie will be played on the grass courts at Queen’s Club between July 17 and 19.